Are you a dedicated powder junkie? Looking for a new off-piste challenge? Read on! Hotel Price Scanner’s ski and snowboard spies have been doing what they do best – checking out the world’s greatest winter sports locations for people with jet-set taste and a budget big enough for a helicopter. Here we bring you our top-five heli-skiing (and boarding) destinations for 2015.
Of course you haven’t heard of Lamoille in the US-state of Nevada – but nor has anyone else and that is precisely the point. This miniature Ruby Mountain range may be dwarfed by the Rockies but it still stretches a full 60 miles by 12 and enjoys a blanket of over 300 inches of fluffy white stuff on its 11,000-foot peaks every year. Book into a traditional-style hunting lodge and enjoy some hearty mountain fare after an average of seven drops a day, cutting through the peaks and valleys of the Nevada desert. Combine with a trip to Vegas to complete your ultimate holiday of reckless indulgence.
Indulgence is the order of the day at Blue River, British Columbia, Canada. Here at Wiegele World, you will find yourself in a self-contained village where luxury log cabins, pampering and fine dining are the order of the day. The best bit, however, comes free, in the form of 1.2 million acres of powder-coated back country to explore at your leisure. Of course, you still need to get up top to make the most of it and a heli package here may not come cheap. It does, however, include unlimited ‘vertical’ for a week, averaging around 80,000 feet and rising to 100,000 for the most experienced.
Heading into South America, the Andes are the perfect destination for sniffing out some summer powder while the rest of the world is sunning it by the sea. A base at the Ingenio Lodge in the Chilean Maipo Valley provides access to the Tinguiririca Valley in the south right up to the Rio Colorao Valley in the north, with a total of 1,900 square miles of virgin heli-skiing terrain to discover.
European heliskiing is perhaps a more sedate affair, but it does offer the benefits of being able to combine with more standard means of getting up the hill. This means countries such as Switzerland are a good option for mixed-ability groups or those on a ‘standard lift pass with a bit of heli-skiing thrown in’ kind of budget. Head to the Valais region in Switzerland, bed down in Verbier and enjoy the best of on- and off-piste powder alongside some of the best nightlife in the Alps.
The Japanese have been extolling the virtues of Siberian skiing for years but only recently has the rest of the world woken up to this vast expanse of pristine powder. The Davan Mountain Range in Siberia enjoys an average annual powder base of over 7 metres and offers access to virgin runs of between 3km and 7km against the stunning backdrop of Lake Bikal. Relax in the hot tub after a day on the slopes, sip on a vodka and share your tales from the wilderness. You’ll never go mainstream again.